Thursday, January 17, 2019

Day Three Back Pain, Origami Money, And The Cat Tracker.

Maybe..... after I get better.... 
These Things actually WORK!
Thankfully,  it appears that the back pain is only superficial.   How do I know this?   Well,   I did not go to see a Doctor..  Who would have told me to probably do everything I am already doing and then charge me $60!  (Or MORE!)  Nope,  I followed the simple instructions I put up in the blog last posing and they WORKED!   Kind of.   Mostly they stretch out the hurty parts and allow me to function.   All be it on a limited scale.   I am able to walk and bike.... but the pain is still there to remind me that it will take a while to be 100% again.   Then, I may just upgrade to the strength training rather than the simple stretches.   We shall see how things go.   For now,   I'm sticking with the easy stuff.

Cheryl wants to run anyway. 

9 miles instead of the normal 7?
Despite my pain and agony,  Cheryl insists on running and dragging me along.   ( She is such a sadist!)  I did manage to hang with her for the entire 9 miles... ( 9 MILES!   Since when do we randomly add 2 extra miles to our usual routine?)  We have a long run coming up tomorrow...  so I will be trying real  hard to get that muscle stretched out and limber.   Thankfully,   riding a bike is not too strenuous on the back muscles to begin with.  But 15 miles usually effects me in different areas.   Wish me luck!
Origami eases the pain?

Or just keeps mu mind off of it. 
To help ease the pain of sitting,  and to keep my mind off of the pain ....and food....   I have been folding Origami Dollar bills for the Casey's people.   Today,  I delivered perhaps the most difficult model I have ever attempted with a Dollar bill ( Actually,  it takes 2 single dollar bills.)

The Origami Formula One Racer!
Origami Formula One Racer... from 2  single.dollar bills. 

Box pleating.  Easy? 
Assembly and shaping required. 
Simple box pleating...  Simple?  Did I say simple?    Well,  In theory, yes!  In practice... let's just say it took me 3 DAYS to complete it.   Ok,  that is a little over the top exageration.   I worked on the front and back part for about 3 hours each.... ( Or so,  I only know I started at 11:00 and finished around 3-ish.)  spending a day on each section.  Yesterday I finished the assembly and final shaping.   Maybe 2-3 hours total.   So possibly 8-9 hours worth of folding...  But I like it!

Looks pretty close to the pictured model.   Not bad...
Leave it at Casey's

Along with a bunch of other things. 

  I dropped it off today along with several other models.  ( Because,   what the heck am I going to do with it?   Keep it forever?)  Maybe the Casey's crew will grow tired of my expanding zoo and ask me to stop.   Or they could throw them or give them away.   It's just paper after all.

And more animals. 

Cats love Subaru s
And finally I caught the Cat  tracker in action.   Cheryl says we should call him "Badger"...  which sounds better than Oreo.  We shall see which one finally sticks.   He left me a "present" yesterday in the form of a fresh Vole.   I have to say,  I found the gift endearing. I have not received a gift from a cat since Hiro gave me a baby rabbit.  (And Hiro does not go outside anymore....)  I didn't know what to do with it,  since I'm currently trying to watch what I eat after the holidays.   And Hiro does not eat "Wild Food" anymore.
Badger sits.   
Leaving Muddy Paw Prints. 

I'm not sure why he loves the Subie so much,  but Subie has been looking rather dirty with this new slush on the roads.  It doesn't appear to damage him and I will have to give the car a good washing eventually anyway.    The Tracks will vanish then.

More Casey's Origami. 
So that is all.    We visited with a couple of friends  in Iowa City today.   Catching up and talking about work...  mostly enjoying a donut and coffee.   It is always fun and passes the time way too quickly.   We begin work next week,   so we will see each other more frequently then.    In the mean time,  it is always fun to catch up on stuff.

The Origami Camel..  from a dollar bill. 
Hope everyone is having a great week so far.   Looks like we will be doing a long run  trying to beat the snow storm that is predicted for tomorrow.   Hopefully my back,  the weather,  Cheryl's running,  and the rotation of the earth will all hold out until the run is over.   Then... finally...  we should be able to relax.    Thanks for stopping in.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Biking On Ice. Dealing With Back Pain.

Or maybe slipping on Ice? 

Ice on the Driveway.   
I don't know exactly when it happened today, but I must have pulled something in my lower back.   And that is pretty much all I can think about at the moment.   I have my theories... but most likely it happened early on when we were loading the car to go out.

Ice on the Subie!  
All over the windows! Even on my
See....  there was freezing rain/mist for most of the morning this morning.   Subie was covered.   The Driveway was covered!    I slipped.... ever so slightly,  on the way out to load my bike.  I hardly felt anything.   It could have happend then.

We go out for a run anyway... 
Cheryl's new ice creeper shoes worked very well!   She was able to tackle the slickest of parts on the sidewalk and never slowed to stumbled.    I, however,   do not have ice creeper tires on my bike.   Knowing this, I gripped and tensed up the entire ride this morning...  it could have happened then as well.   In fact, I was actually feeling the pain a little at the turn around point.
Ice on the trail restrooms! 

By the time we climbed back into the car, I was feeling it fully!   It hurt to climb in and out of the Subster.  Normally,  I enjoy climbing into the car...  ( Who wouldn't want to climb in and out of a Subaru?)  But the pain made that very difficult.
Cheryl conquers the ice with
New Shoes!

Maybe I should give this a try...
Cheryl suggested a Tylenol...  which I think helped a bit.   But it has most likely worn off now and I appear to be getting worse!    Cheryl says I look like I'm 70!   Time to kick back and ice it a little....  Mostly stay off my feet.

Other than that,  it  continues to drizzle/mist and freeze.  The weather channel says it is supposed to last  until tomorrow.   And the Salt Trucks are out keeping most of the roads nice and dry.  They even salted the trail/sidewalk for us.   Too bad they did not want to plow the entire thing.  Well,  be grateful for what you have.  I would be very happy if this back pain went away by tomorrow. ( or sooner!)  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Running After The Big Snow.

Cheryl cleans off Subie.
Another Winter Storm. 
Yesterday was a big snow storm.  It dumped about 8 inches on us and it was a serious challenge to get those roads clear.   We decided to take the day off from exercise and thanked our lucky stars that we got the long run done on Friday.   Today,  we wanted to see how the plows fared against the blizzard.

Ready to run?   Are the Sidewalks
Doesn't look like it. 
Mostly for the sidewalks.   Subie can handle almost anything Mother Nature throws at him.  But Cheryl's running is a different matter.   There was one time when it was a fresh snow and she flat refused!  Running on a plowed sidewalk is the preferred standards.

Why is this man sweating profusely?

Looks like he has snow is
his tires. 
The plows DID manage to plow a few of the sidewalks and part of the trail.  But the trail around the lake was untouched.  It did not stop walkers and skiers from doing their routine.  Cheryl found it a bit of a challenge trying to run.   But she seemed to manage just fine.

I, however,  did not experience the same ease.   It was rather difficult trying to maintain my balance in the ruts and pot holes that other people left for me.   And having just fixed my bike, I was not in a big hurry to break it.  Or myself!
Finally,  the trail clears. 

Iowa Eagle. 

But after we finally got around it,  the trail cleared.   I talked to one of the guys who was plowing and he told us he had cleared most of our normal route.  Good news for the Marathon Runner!  ( And her Cyclist sidekick!)

Perhaps my best picture yet. 

Find the eagle and the runner in this picture. 
The Eagles were out again in full bloom.   I possibly got the BEST shot of one so far.   He was perched with no branches in front of him so I could actually focus!   At least he looks like an Eagle and  not a Crow or Chicken!  (Hawk reference)   The camera does not do it justice just how close they are to us. 
They fly over us all the time. 

Cat tracks on the Subie
Other than that,  We came home and I played with the outdoor cat for a bit.   He seems to love the Subie.... as indicated by his muddy paw prints.  Every time I try to capture him in the act of vandalism,  he manages to disappear before I get the camera.   I'll try again tomorrow.

Folding some Iowa Fun for the
Casey's Employees. 
And now it is quiet time with Hiro and Cheryl and some Origami.   Recently,  one of the people at the Casey's store has hinted they like Origami....  I do not need much more to begin flooding them with paper sculptures.   He mentioned a dollar bill ring....  ( Kiddy stuff!)   So I folded him a  koi....  mostly to show off and that  I really like to fold stuff.  Tomorrow I have three animals to drop off.   Iowa is known for Chicken, Pigs and Unicorns.   So I folded all three.   Maybe tomorrow I will attempt a cow.  We shall see.
Iowa is Known for its Pigs, Chickens and Unicorns. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Running In The Cold With Eagles And A Broken Bike

The last couple of days have been rather "Chilly",  But we managed to run/bike in them anyway.   Today,  Cheryl ran 15 miles and never complained!    I think that is AMAZING!  She says that 15 miles  is no big deal.  I think she said,  "I eat miles like this for Breakfast!"    Sounds like someone is getting their confidence back. 

As for me,  I toughed it out.   It is much colder on a bike .A slight breeze makes it even worse.   Add in that My Super Awesome Bearing Experiment for my bike front "head set" ( That is Cyclist jargon for "Part that you use to steer your bike.")  You learn new things everyday;   and every failure has the seeds for improvement.   In this case,   Learning!   I learned that Shot gun steel shot is NOT the best alternative to a regular machine ball bearing.  Which really bums me out.  It DID work for almost 2 months.  ( I think.   I need to look back for the real answer)  (UPDATE!   Since September!   That is 3 months and some change!)  I noticed the handlebars getting stuck in a certain position and I was exerting far too much pressure trying to turn.  Well,  it appears that the steel shot ends up crushing after a little while.   Looks like we will have to replace them with the real deal eventually.   If we can find them!    Australia is the only place that seems to provide them.   It may take a full month for them to arrive.
Notice the "crushed" bearing vs the shiny new one. 

In the mean time,  I fixed it up with some new steel shot.   I know it will fail again, but I will at least be able to get through the next month.   I already covered why I won't be taking it into the shop for this one.  They did not instill confidence in me that they could solve the problem.    For now!  Bike is fixed!
Lots of Eagles. 
Right next to the rail and the river. 

There were a Bunch of Eagles on the trail today.   6 in all!   And there were several hovering over the lake as well.   Yesterday,  there were perhaps a dozen near a road kill raccoon.   Bald Eagles would never hint that they will eat a roadkill with that fancy plumage,  but they apparently do.   The river is the only open water now.   The ones on the trail seem to prefer fishing over "hamburger."  Either way,  I do enjoy seeing them. 

Cheryl shops online. 

And plays with her face and fingers

Tomorrow is supposed to be a "Winter Storm" day.   And with the Long run out of the way,  we are planning a day off.    The Internet is back up and Cheryl finds herself surfing and looking at stuff that promises happiness if you only buy it.   (It rarely does though) She is also spending all of our hard earned money on magazines...  that offer the same stuff and make the same promises.  Well,   what are ya gonna do?

Hiro "helps." 

He tries to help me as well. 
As for me,   I have been folding and fixing hings around he house.   The rest of the time I play my XCOM Enemy Within.    Someone has to save humanity from the alien invasion.... and it might as well be me.   Even the cat wants to help!   Although he mostly is just in the way...  just like any other sidekick. 

Doesn't really work, though. 


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